Dietary carbohydrate, glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of prostate cancer in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) cohort

Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Jul;22(7):995-1002. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9772-1. Epub 2011 May 7.


Objective: To evaluate the associations between dietary carbohydrate, glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), and incident prostate cancer in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) cohort.

Methods: Between September 1993 and September 2000, 38,343 men were randomized to the screening arm of the trial at one of 10 PLCO centers. A food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline assessed usual dietary intake over the preceding 12 months. Prostate cancer was ascertained by medical follow-up of suspicious screening results and annual mailed questionnaires and confirmed with medical records. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to model the associations of carbohydrate, GI, and GL with prostate cancer risk.

Results: During follow-up (median = 9.2 years), 2,436 incident prostate cancers were identified among 30,482 eligible participants. Overall, there were no associations of baseline carbohydrate, GI, or GL with incident prostate cancer in minimally or fully adjusted models. There were no associations when the 228 advanced and 2,208 non-advanced cancers were analyzed separately.

Conclusions: Dietary carbohydrate, GI, and GL were not associated with incident prostate cancer in PLCO. The narrow range of GI in this cohort may have limited our ability to detect associations, an issue that future studies should address.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma / blood
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / blood
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates